(Bear with me, I know that was so long ago you hardly remember it happened...)
The last time the Open was here was in 1997 - Ernie Els won, Payne Stewart was still alive, and it was the early years of Tiger Woods. My dad and I were lucky enough back then that a friend of ours gave us tickets for the Saturday round. We drove up, sat on the 5th green all day, and saw every group come through. I'll always remember spending that day with my dad.
|Photo from espn.go.com|
So, volunteering. Here's the story. First - starting over a year before, we received tons of communications from them. It's an amazing production to run this tournament. There were 5,300 volunteers throughout the week at the Open! Emails, mailings, emails, and mailings. We had an option to select the days we wanted to work (or rather, couldn't work) and rank the areas that we wanted to volunteer in. I was selected for the corporate hospitality tents (hard to believe isn't it), and husband for the merchandise tent. We had originally asked for Sunday off, so that we could enjoy the day.
Uniforms. I have to admit, they were pretty nice. We had to pay for them, at $180 each. We were allotted 2 Ralph Lauren polo shirts, a really nice RL jacket, a baseball hat and metal water bottle. The shirts were selling in the merchandise tent for $85 each, so overall it was a pretty good deal. I'm not sure if I'll really wear the shirts, but the jacket was really nice - and I bet husband will wear the shirts.
So we each paid our money and worked our 4 shifts. But we had free admission all week. And good parking for the days that we worked. However, it was hard work. One day, husband had to play security just inside the entrance and direct people towards the exit...which was at the complete opposite end. The tent was an amazing 36,000 square feet. He said he got cussed out at least twice that afternoon and that it wasn't fun at all. I worked in the biggest hospitality area - basically doing security too. Checking tickets, giving wrist bands, welcoming people back and turning people away - and answering every question possible. Plus denying entry to every dude's friend who had to ___ - enter lame excuse here. We heard everything. It's really amusing the reasons people can come up with to get into the tents!
|Photo from http://myblog.pgavolunteers.com/|
Saturday husband had the morning shift, so he went up super early while Dad and I followed a little later. We met up in the tent and they spent all afternoon together while I had to work. It was great for them to get to spend some time just the 2 of them - they had lunch, enjoyed a few beers, and sat in the grandstand of #15 for several hours. My friend E and her dad were there that day too, so they met up with us once my shift was over and we spent a couple more hours watching from #15.
Sunday was perfect. We got up slowly, enjoyed a Father's Day lunch at Dogfish Head Ale House, and drove to Dulles airport to park. With so much traffic expected around the Open, they had this option for us VA folks. We thought it was going to be a pain but it was really very easy. We arrived at the course around 3, just in time for the leaders to tee off. After a bit of last minute shopping in the merchandise tent, we were off to find our spot.
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|Photo from golf.about.com|
The 22 year old made history that day as he won the U.S. Open with a 16 under par. It was the lowest 72 hole score in US Open history. As his father walked onto the green at 18 to give him a congratulatory hug, Rory said Happy Father's Day to him, and that it was.
|Photo from abcsports.go.com|